sydney osborn

Lies I Told my Mother: On The Possession of a Gun

I've chewed holes in my bottom lip,

Big bloody holes covered by dark lipstick;

And the shades of purple intermix 

With the ruby hue of helpful ticks. 


For the robber, I opened the door 

It's a wonder he didn't steal something more. 

I unlocked the door to let him inside 

And I spoke with mute things in order to hide 

But his voice rang through the walls of my mind 

And soon enough his words were mine:


I said that I have got a gun, 

Not for Safety, 

Just for fun. 


I said I don't care much, 

For this race or that, 

But surely my government doesn't know that. 


But now that I can, 

I'll show them I'm a man. 

I'll show the girls 

Who all know my hand. 


And I'll put it into their throats too deep

Show them how life looks without sleep 

And I'll teach them how to love my gun 

I'll teach them exactly how fast they can run

And when they think they've found distance's armor 

I'll show them my bullet reaches a few feet farther 


I shut my mouth, ashamed at my words,

Stitched my bottom lip 

To the top 

To make the blood 

And the foreign words stop. 


I let the robber do his deed 

But never again did I feel free.


There’s not much left of me:

The blinds cast shadows from the streetlight

And leave remnants on your bedroom floor,

Like crumpled clothes and used hair ties,

All worn out and happier

From the flicker of last night.


And there’s not much left of you,

But crumbs of the broken

Things you once loved.


And there’s not a whole lot left of us,

But the makeup stains on your

Favorite shirt—

The one you wore

Half of every night

We spent together in the spotlight

Casting jail cell lines

From your bedroom blinds.


And never was I happier

Than when I laid beside

The man whose only love was blind.